Bizarro #1 review

It's Bizarro No1 in Bizarro #1. Except behind the witty cover is 'America: Part 6'. Which is rather perfect... Bizarro is a backwards-thinking being, so this is a backwards-thinking book. 

Except it's forward thinking in that it's emblematic of the new DC, in which story trumps continuity; this isn't Bizarro the tragic clone seen in Justice League a couple of years ago. Nope, this is Bizarro, the loveable, well-meaning goof whose attempts to help Metropolis have had citizens wringing their hands in despair. Jimmy Olsen has taken it upon himself to get the (in)human disaster area out of town, driving him to Canada which, he jokes, is 'Bizarro America'. 
This first chapter - following the superb Sneak Preview, still available to enjoy online - sees our heroes hit Smallville, after Jimmy's jalopy hits a tree. Blame Bizarro's new pet, Colin the Chupacabra, which I assumed was some US lizard thing, but not quite... So it's off to King Tut's Slightly Used Car Oasis, where all kind of hilarity ensues. 
And I'm not kidding, this is an actual funny comic book - Heath Corson's script is rapt with scathing wit, alongside some rather sweet moments, as straight man Jimmy and eager-to-please Bizarro become worst friends. The plot is pleasing, the execution excellent. And the cartooning of Gustavo Duarte is jawdroppingly good - I could look at work of this calibre all day. The sheer fun of Duarte's caricature of Jimmy, the expressions on Bizarro's face, the way he walks like a fun-filled kid - it's joyful. There's terrific work, too, from colourist Pete Pantazis, and letterer Tom Napolitano. As a bonus, there's a dream sequence by Bill Sienkiewicz, just a page, but it's prime, New Mutants quality Sienkiewicz - brilliant. I wonder if we're getting a page of guest art in every issue of this six-chapter series. 

I shall find out because, unlike Jimmy and Bizarro, I'm going nowhere. Well, I am in Scotland - Bizarro Canada!

Comments

  1. I liked this one. I got the Bat-Mite, and to echo a review I read on Green Lantern Butts Forever while I wanted to like it, I didn't care as much for it. I was a bit surprised that both comics, while sold as E for everyone and all ages comics had a 'what the hell' line in them. It didn't bother me much personally, but it seems like something that some parents might not appreciate while not being very central to the story. Martin, are you still reading the Scooby Doo Team Ups? They're still going well (the Johnny Quest one was really good), I hope these new all ages titles don't mean the end of that series.

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    1. I never notice 'what the he'll' - it seems to be more of a shocker in the US than the UK. I was surprised that the tone of Bat-Mite was less sweet than I expected, though I liked it. And yes, still loving Scooby, though Jonny Quest was lost on me!

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  2. This was a carload of fun, thank you for directing me to it, Martin! "That was… amazing! Laughing so hard, can barely metabolize."

    I'll definitely be following this one.

    Oh, and the chupacabra is a 1996 addition to the cryptozoology lists, and as far as I can recall, the made up critter has no specific, consistent description. A cute little alien Tasmanian devil riff is as good as anything, I guess. :)

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    1. Thank you for the info on Chupachops! What a cutie. And so thrilled you like the book too.

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    2. I think a chupacabra is like a South or Central American urban legend. Kinda like a sasquatch except it feeds on the blood of goats instead of roots and leaves and things.

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  3. I *loved* this book! So so much. I felt like I was reading a DCU version of Asterix and Obelix. The cartooning was top notch. The word play was fun fun fun. I'm totally in for this whole series! I cannot wait to see what Bizarro America looks like.

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    1. Asterix and Obelix - great comparison!

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  4. I'm going to hunt this down and give this series a shot. Thanks

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    1. Good news! I'm just about to read #2.

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